Penn State welcomes Nebraska to Big Ten

June 11, 2010

Park Ridge, Ill.— The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors announced unanimous approval today (June 11) for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to join the Big Ten Conference effective July 1, 2011, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2011-12 academic year. UNL also will seek admission into the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the academic arm of the Big Ten.

The addition of the University of Nebraska marks the Big Ten’s first expansion since Penn State joined the conference in June 1990 and will increase Big Ten membership to 12 institutions for the first time in conference annals.

“By unanimous vote, the Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to the Big Ten Conference,” said council chair and Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon. “We believe Nebraska is an extraordinary fit, reflecting the criteria we established at the beginning of the process -- high academic quality, competitiveness, cultural compatibility and fiscal responsibility. The extensive and in-depth discussions my colleagues and I have had about Big Ten expansion permitted us to act expeditiously and prudently on the application submitted by Nebraska. We look forward to working with our colleagues at UNL in the years ahead.”

Penn State President Graham Spanier agreed that Nebraska is an important addition to the Big Ten.

"Nebraska has a rich tradition of academic excellence. It has been a valued institutional partner in the Association of American Universities for decades, and we look forward to enhanced relationships through the academic alliance that surrounds the Big Ten," Spanier said.

Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley said that in addition to its outstanding academic reputation, Nebraska is "a great fit with our athletic programs."

"Their athletic accomplishments on the field of play are among the strongest nationally, and they enjoy excellent graduation rates," Curley said. "We have enjoyed our athletic competitions and friendships forged with Nebraska and are looking forward to welcoming their university staff, student-athletes and loyal alumni and fans into the Big Ten."

In order for an institution to be admitted to the Big Ten Conference, it must submit a written application, which must then be approved by at least 70 percent of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C). The University of Nebraska Board of Regents formally submitted an application to join the Big Ten Conference Friday afternoon (June 11). The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and approved Nebraska’s application.

(Media Contacts)

Jeff Nelson

Last Updated June 11, 2010